5 Mistakes to Avoid When you’re Planning a Franchise Network Website
While no web design and development firm can provide a fixed price estimate because of the many variables, we generally advise emerging franchises with less than 100 units to budget a minimum of $35,000 for their website redesign. Franchise brands with more than 100 units should budget upwards of $55,000.
However, it’s impossible to give an accurate answer to this question without knowing the specifics. A website will be tailored in size, content, design, and other factors that differ greatly from client to client.
A website is designed according to the needs of its customers through a process called “needs assessment”. This means asking questions about what your company does, how it could be done better, who are you trying to reach, etc. A successful website design for one company might not work so well for another depending on their goals and objectives reaching different markets or customers.
Although we built a website for a 200-unit franchise brand in 4 months from kick-off meeting to launch, that’s extremely rare. For most typical projects, we would advise planning for at least 6 months. The more stakeholders are involved, the lengthier the franchise web design process. Always factor in time for assembling and consulting with a franchisee steering committee and various layers of user testing. For complex projects that involve migration from one system to another (Drupal to WordPress, for instance), factor in the time needed for transferring and verifying all content, which vastly differs from one website to another. Finally, you want to allow ample time for your franchisees to provide or fill in any local content they are responsible for when it comes to their local websites.
It is not always necessary to start a website from scratch. If the original or current website was built on a scalable platform like WordPress, has a clear and efficient page structure, and good SEO value, you can plan instead for a redesign or “facelift”. This means updating or building a new theme to give your new website an updated, modern look & feel, add new functionality, make improvements for mobile usability or other UX/UI improvements. Generally, you should plan for a design update every 3-4 years, but that shouldn’t come at the cost of designing a brand new website.
The SEO value of your current website can most certainly be transferred to your new website. Our franchise web design and development specialists are mindful to preserve valuable content, links, and meta tags, while at the same time addressing frequently encountered issues that affect SEO: website loading time, mobile usability issues, and other technical errors. If you already have a trusted SEO partner, we’ll work closely with them to ensure that your new website not only preserves its SEO value, but also enhances it.
Absolutely! We have great writers and editors on staff who can help create well-researched, relevant, unique, keyword-optimized text for your website. Our project managers help plan all the necessary content for the websites we produce, and our art directors will source the right photography and create the perfect illustrations to enhance the user experience.
If your new franchise website requires content to be migrated from your old website, we’ll gladly help you transfer it properly onto the new platform of theme. Often times, the migration can be automated, which can save a considerable amount of time and cost. This is the case when the website stays on the same platform, but we have successfully automated migrations from different platforms as well. In other cases, migration is a manual process. It all depends on the specifics of every project. Whatever the case may be, our team is happy to support you in any way we can to ensure a successful new website launch.
There are many ways to ensure your franchisees’ websites are significantly unique even when they are all based on the same brand-approved template and boilerplate content. By employing a combination of randomized content, microsite variables, and unique content that is store-specific, the resulting franchise microsites are different enough to be considered unique rather than duplicated content. Moreover, we have special content marketing plans for franchisees that allows them to continuously add unique, relevant, local content to their websites.